I have stated previously that I see nothing wrong with some writers choosing not to self-publish. I am not someone who tells others what to do nor do am I one of those self-published authors who think this route is the one true route for all writers. I believe people should do what is best for them.
However, I am someone who doesn’t like it when self-published authors are looked down upon by other authors. I have seen rude and condescending remarks geared to such writers on blogs, forums and other places on the Internet, and they left me very annoyed. Usually I roll my eyes and leave it at that, but sometimes I read comments that I can’t wrap my mind around.
Self-Published Authors are Deluded:
According to some, anyone who self-publishes has dollar signs in their eyes and truly believes they are going to hit it big like Amanda Hocking. They fail to realize how difficult self-publishing is, and are in for a rude awakening. While that may be true for some authors, most I know who took charge of their product weren’t convinced they would have best selling books that would make them millionaires. I believe many, myself included, knew the risks but did thorough research on how to promote their books, which led to descent sales. If by chance someone thought they would see more money than they expected, they choked it up to experience. They didn’t throw in the towel and stamp off like bratty children. They kept moving and improving, writing more books and building their fan base, which led to more sales – and more satisfaction for taking the self-publishing route. As for those who did throw in the towel, well, I don’t know what to say to them except disappointments are part of life.
Self-Published Authors’ Books are Only Read by Other Self-Published Authors: Oh jeez, really? While many self-pubbed writers are supportive of each other and may read each others’ work as part of that support, I highly doubt we are the only ones buying each other’s books. While I know some who read my book were fellow or aspiring writers, there were plenty who were everyday readers who don’t mind self-pubbed work. While I’ll never know the exact demographic, I can safely say that that comment is false – and so can many other writers like me.
Self-Published Authors’ Books are Poorly Edited: Uhm. Heh heh. OK, there may be some truth to that. I know my book didn’t work out the way I wanted it in regards to the editing. But I’ll be re-issuing The Dark Proposal within the coming week after a good friend re-edited my book out of his own kindness. I was embarrassed to learn that my book was one of many self-published ones loaded with typos and grammatical errors, but I desperately didn’t want to be another statistic. But sadly that didn’t happen, but I am fixing it that now.
Self-Published Authors Aren’t Really Authors; Traditionally Published Ones Are: Wow. Just wow. Seriously? Someone who spent days, weeks, months or even years writing a novel isn’t on the same level as someone with an agent and a contract with the Big 6 or even small publishers? Someone with an active imagination, a love of words, and story telling cannot equate themselves with those with their books at brick-and-mortar stores? Yikes, that just sound so harsh and mean, and condescending. It’s like saying we’re lazy and poor writers only because we took our product into our hands, and didn’t fight hard for a publisher to agree to sell our book. Yes, some self-published authors write not-so-good books, but is it fair to lump us altogether because those rotten apples? We fight hard to create our characters and their conflicts, and we care about how readers perceive our work. We are no different from someone with an agent and a contract. Snobbery just ain’t cool.
So, there you go. I agree there are some self-published authors who give us all a bad name, and some may sneer at us because we don’t have the stamp of approval from the Big 6 (or is it 5 or 4 now?). But many of us know what we were getting ourselves into, and we don’t regret our choice to be in charge of our product. There is no need to look down at us. Besides, by the way things are going with the book industry, us self-published authors aren’t going to fade away tomorrow 😉